It’s official, summer is here…I had the first surplus of zucchini brought into me by a co-worker this week.  We’re in for a long, zucchini filled summer if people have started off-loading before the end of June!  So what do you do with excess zucchini?  You make zucchini bread, of course!  Well, at least until you get sick of zucchini bread then you move onto other crafty ways to work with the plethora of this vegetable for the next few months.  But lucky for you I have lots of favorite zucchini recipes that I’ll share this summer as I’m digging out from under my own zucchini mountain.

To be honest, I still haven’t found the perfect, healthy zucchini bread recipe.  So this time around I tweaked two different ones that I’ve been working with to come up with this current favorite that I’m sharing here.  I say it’s still not perfect, because I’d like to find one that replaces all of the oil with applesauce, but whenever I try recipes that do that I find the bread is just too dense for my liking. I like light and soft zucchini bread, not dense and chewy.  So if you have a recipe that only uses applesauce and no oil that delivers a light bread please pass it along and I’ll keep experimenting!

In the meanwhile, the recipe shared below makes a quite delicious zucchini bread, so it’s my current favorite in terms of taste and texture.  I like nuts and dried pineapple in mine, but feel free to omit them or add other mix-ins based on your own preferences.

3 eggs
1 cup canola oil
1 cup applesauce
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup white granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 cups grated zucchini (squeezed in a kitchen towel in order to get as much water out as possible*)
3 cups flour
¾ tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
¾ tsp baking powder
3 tsp cinnamon
2 dashes of nutmeg

Optional: 1 cup walnuts and/or raisins (or diced dried pineapple, which I prefer)

Beat eggs until airy, then add sugars, vanilla and oil, blend well. Stir in applesauce and shredded zucchini.

Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt,  cinnamon and nutmeg in a separate bowl. Blend with liquid mixture until just blended, taking care not to over mix.

Pour into 2 well greased and floured loaf pans. Bake at 350° F  for 1 hour or until toothpick inserted in center of bread comes out clean.

I often end up with a bit of extra batter that I like to turn into mini-muffins for snacking.  In order to make mini-muffins instead of loaves simply spoon the batter into greased mini-muffin tins and bake at 350° F for 20-25 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.

The result is the two loaves and mini-muffins on the right below…but all of these zucchini bread products actually came from one gigantic zucchini!  Enough to experiment with two different recipes all from the same vegetable, crazy.  Slice yourself a piece, toast it in the toaster and slather on some peanut butter…now that’s what I call a good breakfast!

*save that water that you squeeze out of your zucchini and add it to your next smoothie…nice hit of nutrients!